By Frances Chaisson
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
I never really thought I would be a mom. Over the years I had convinced myself that motherhood was not meant for me.
You see, this girl grew up focused on surviving dysfunction all around while having the ultimate goal of making it through college. I learned very early on from my momma, that I needed an education so "I could stand on my own and depend on no one to sustain me." And "You'll never know when you'll be left alone to care for yourself".
So I did just that.
I graduated, climbed the ladder, and focused on my next move. After a series of failed relationships, followed by a damaging divorce, I concluded that a happily-ever-after with a loving husband, a yellow house with a white picket fence, two dogs, and a kid was just not part of God's plan for me.
So, I embraced my self-proclaimed destiny as a career woman, and put the thought of ever becoming a mother neatly, securely, and safely out of the way. I tucked it into some dark crevice of my mind...and then pushed it a little deeper, locked it up, and placed the keys out of sight. Yep, it was that intense.
Fast forward a few years. The Lord gifted me my husband, Jeff. The first man I’ve ever dated that truly exemplified what it looked like to be a man after God’s heart. And then it happened...we conceived our first child. [Insert here a slight heart attack]. After a crazy five-week journey through a plethora of raw emotions and visits to the doctor...our little “Blueberry” went to heaven, and my body rebelled against the loss throwing me in a 30+ hour painful delivery. It was as if my body mourned for what was lost; rejecting all that was left from the life it had created.
A year and a half later, we were surprised by our second pregnancy [another heart attack here]. I confess I was scared, yet on my knees I surrendered to the Lord’s will and slowly began to allow love to attach to this little child of ours. I saw him move, I saw his formed body in womb. A true miracle.
Alex went to be with Jesus at 12 weeks.
Surrendered and filled with peace, (but not void of pain), we turned from the idea of becoming parents and committed to the work the Lord had placed before us. We operate a social services ministry that focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
If we couldn’t have a family of our own, we would pour ourselves into the calling and help others offer children a healthy and stable family. Life anyways is not about us...it’s about what God want to do through us, and that IS an adventure in itself!
A year later, my husband and I went on a mission trip to my island, Puerto Rico, to work on hurricane relief efforts. Little did we know that on a hot Puerto Rican evening, a pastor that didn’t know us would prophesy over us... “Your home will be filled with laughter, songs, and children.” “The Lord will redeem your pain”. Our immediate reaction? Well, not our best spiritual moment. “WHAT?! THAT makes no sense to us...sorry pastor, but you may be a bit off on this one.”...we thought. And we moved on...puzzled, but guarded against what we thought may be a false sense of hope.
It was a typical Monday morning when at about 10am my husband called me at the office. “Remember this girl?” He brought to memory a beautiful teenage girl we had met last year. We had helped her mother find affordable housing for the two of them and a sustainable job. However, we were sadly deceived by her alcoholism, and the little girl had been suffering abuse and neglect in silence. Until this day, when a man told us she needed rescue. Without hesitation my heart and my soul blurted out words that would change the course of our life, “Tell them to bring her to us, we’ll take her.” My husband immediately agreed. The Lord had immediately, without question or hesitation aligned our hearts to receive her.
On Monday, April 23rd at 9pm, I became a mother. I knew it the moment she walked in the door and hugged me. “You are safe, you are ok”...it’s all I could say as my heart attempted to burst out of my chest. My heart, my body, and my soul knew that at THAT very moment, the Lord had redeemed the longing I had to experience that embrace. An embrace so pure, so genuine, filled with love, gratitude, and unexplainable peace.
I once prayed that the Lord would somehow use the loss of our babies and all the pain for something greater. It only made sense to me if it had a purpose...and I desperately wanted to see that purpose fulfilled. In His faithfulness and grace, the Lord has shown me that with every life I bore in my womb, and with every loss, He birthed in me the instinct I thought I never had or that was never intended for me to have.To be mom. To pour out, to sacrifice, to defend fiercely, to love unconditionally. He had prepared me, giving me a desire to hold, to care, to love.
I am an unexpected mom. I didn’t birth a physical child. No, instead God delivered in me a new heart and gave me a purpose to my pain. This child, a family, a new journey, and a new kind of love. I AM a mother.
Frances is originally from Puerto Rico, but has made Florida her home for over 20 years. Frances and Jeff have been married for six years and together they run the operations of Salty Family Services, a ministry of Salty Church dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Recently, after two painful miscarriages, Frances became a mother for the first time through foster care. She is loving her new role as a mom and considers it a great calling and blessing from the Lord. In her spare time she enjoys writing, a great cup of coffee, a hard workout, and meal planning for her family. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook and her blog, http://www.franceschaisson.com/.